|Circuit||Bahrain International Circuit|
|Distance||308,238 km / 191,571 miles|
||Scuderia Ferrari||did not start / engine failure during warm-up lap|
Kimi Raikkonen: “The start was not ideal, but luckily we did not lose too many places in the first lap. After that I tried to recover, and was able to overtake some cars and make the best out of it. We managed to do good pit-stops with the right tire choices and the speed was quite good, too. In the end we were catching up a bit on the Mercedes in front, but I never got close enough to try and pass Nico. Considering what happened in the first lap it’s a pretty ok result, it’s not what we want but we keep working and improving things. We are going in the right direction, but obviously it’s not ideal for the team to have only one car finishing the race. In this sport we always push to the limits and sometimes things can go wrong, this is not what we want but it’s part of racing. We know that the car is pretty good but we have certain things to improve and still some work to be done.”
Sebastian Vettel: “It was a very short race today, I didn’t even break a drop of sweat… We had a failure, I saw a lot of smoke from behind and I lost power so we decided to stop the car. For sure it is frustrating, because in the end I am here to race. The problem came as a surprise, both for me and the whole team, as I was approaching Turn Eleven. Now we need to understand exactly the problem and learn from it. It is not ideal and we can’t be proud of it. But we had a good preparation over the winter, we are pushing very hard and we know that we can still improve. We still have a lot of races ahead of us, this is going to be a long year so even if today it was not good because I couldn’t score any point, we’ll make sure that the next race goes a lot better… Congratulations to Kimi. It was important that during the race we supported him on both sides of the garage.”
|1st stop||Lap 12||New Soft|
|2nd stop||Lap 29||Old Supersoft|
|3rd stop||Lap 37||New Soft|
|Weather: air 23/24 °C, asphalt 25/29 °C. Clear skies|
Raikkonen finishes second. Vettel out with a technical problem
3 April –The Scuderia comes away from the Bahrain Grand Prix with a second place finish for Kimi Raikkonen, thanks to the Finn replicating his brilliant 2015 performance here after a thrilling race. Sebastian Vettel had a bad Sunday. The German had to retire on the sighting lap with a technical problem that saw him park his car at the side of the track after just a few corners. Nico Rosberg won for Mercedes.
Kimi Raikkonen: “The session went straightforward, everything worked pretty ok, but obviously it would have been better to gain some positions. With the last set of Supersoft tires I had some difficulties in the first few corners, so I was not able to improve my laptime, but apart from that it seemed to be ok. Still, this is not the result we aim to, we want to be in the front. We definitely have some more work to do because we are more or less close to where we want to be. Tomorrow we’ll try to improve from where we finished today, we’ll do our best and see what the day brings. Let’s try to make it a good race.”
Sebastian Vettel: “I am happy to take the fight. Let’s see where we are during the race. Today there’s nothing really to complain about. It’s a big surprise that both Lewis and Nico in the end were able to improve so much. For me the track was similar to the run before and that’s why the time was practically the same. Tomorrow we hope to have a good start, but not doing the same as in Australia thereafter… We know we are not yet where we want to be but I think we are pushing very hard though. Obviously the season has started already so it’s up to us to make sure we keep making technical progress, but as I said many times the car is a big improvement to last year and this will provide more opportunities to improve also in the future; but we really have to keep up the pressure. You can talk about what can happen in ten races but we have to focus first of all on tomorrow, prepare the race as good as we can because there’s a chance to do well and to win. That’s my belief. If I am right or not we’ll see, but that’s the joy, I think, and what I love about racing. To put it in simple terms, I would love to win tomorrow. Naturally if we had more speed we’d also have a better chance to win. But I think we are on the right track, we are a team and we try to improve together. Today was a good day for us, all the car balance was good and we got everything we wanted by ourselves, which is the most important thing.”
Vettel to start from third ahead of team-mate Raikkonen
2 April –At the atmospheric floodlit Al Sakhir circuit, the qualifying session to determine the starting grid for the Bahrain Grand Prix has just ended. In a close battle, which involved using their last sets of Supersoft tyres, Vettel and Raikkonen finished third and fourth respectively. Sebastian’s best lap was a 1.30.012, which was 232 thousandths of a second faster than Kimi’s. Lewis Hamilton will start from pole for Mercedes, with a best time of 1.29.493.
Seb and Kimi fastest as they complete their programme
The Ferraris were quickest in the third free practice session, the final hour of the weekend to be run in daylight. After starting out on the Soft compound, the SF16-Hs of Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen were then switched to the Supersoft for the final qualifying preparations when they set times of 1.31.683 and 1.31.723 respectively. Behind them were the Mercedes of Nico Rosberg (1.32.104) and Lewis Hamilton (1.32.160.) The Ferrari duo ran slightly different programmes to cover all possible scenarios for the rest of the weekend.
Kimi Raikkonen: “It was a normal and pretty ok day, everything worked out fine and we did more or less what had been planned. We ran quite a few laps and it wasn’t too bad, I only had some traffic in my lap with the Supersoft tires, but apart from that it was ok. I was not really looking at what the others were doing, we ran through our own programme. Obviously, the laptimes are one thing you notice, but we’ll see what happens tomorrow. Now we have to go through the data and see how the day was. We always try to do our best, I still don’t know where it is going to end, we have to wait until Sunday to know that. Hopefully we have a good and solid day tomorrow and then we’ll go from there.”
Sebastian Vettel: “We don’t know 100% what happened. I felt out of Turn 4 that I lost drive, so I decided to stop. Obviously we don’t want to take a risk at this stage, damaging the car or the engine. It’s a shame because I would have loved to cover more laps, but that’s what it is. Obviously, it was incredibly important to do the mileage today and get the information on Friday, but it’s even more important to make sure that the car is in good conditions for the whole weekend and for the whole season. Tomorrow I think that if you want to qualify as high up as possible you have to use the Supersofts. It’s not a big secret. We saw that a lot of people were doing their homework today. As for me, I haven’t done everything I could because we had to stop, but Kimi did a lot of laps, so it’s still reasonable. Coming down to our rivals, I don’t know what they did today. I think we can still improve for tomorrow. Hopefully we can be a little bit closer, so we’ll see.”
Supersofts untested on the SF16-H
Sakhir, 1 April – The second free practice session for the Bahrain Grand Prix got underway as the sun went down, at the same time as it will do on Sunday for the race start. The floodlights came on and the temperature dropped for the 90 minute session that brought the first day’s action to an end at the desert track, with the Mercedes duo of Nico Rosberg (1.31.001) and Lewis Hamilton (1.31.242) topping the time sheet yet again.
Kimi Raikkonen (1.32.452) and Sebastian Vettel (1.32.650) were fifth and sixth fastest in the SF16-H. They worked on set-up and tyre testing, running various fuel levels. Both Ferrari men used the Soft tyres and then the Supersofts. Neither of them got the most out of the softest compound, because of problems with traffic and, in Vettel’s case, a small driving error. Sebastian was then forced to end his session around 15 minutes early because of a problem with a wheel, when he had completed 5 laps.
Different programmes for Kimi and Sebastian
Sakhir, 1 April – Two weeks on from the opening round in Australia, the competitors in the 2016 Formula 1 World Championship were back in action today on the Sakhir circuit, the first permanent track to be used this year. Come the end of the first free practice session, Kimi Raikkonen was third in his Ferrari with a lap in 1.34.128, behind the Mercedes duo of Nico Rosberg (1.32.294) and Lewis Hamilton (1.32.799.)
In the other SF16-H, Sebastian Vettel posted the eleventh best time of 1.35.073. The German was on a different programme to his team-mate, working on set-up changes. Sebastian used a single set of Medium tyres for his total of 14 laps, while Kimi, having given back the first set, ended the session on the Soft tyres.
Kimi looks ahead at fresh Bahrain challenge
Having already put the Melbourne retirement behind his back, Kimi Raikkonen looks ahead to the new challenge at the Bahrain International Circuit, where he took second place in an eventful race last year. “It’s difficult to predict how this weekend will be because the result depends on many factors. Last year it was not too bad, but this is a new race weekend, so we’ll do our best in the practice days and then try to maximize the result”. Taking the positives from the first race, Kimi points out that “in Australia the start seemed to work pretty well for us, hopefully it’s always like that, but it’s not easy to make great starts and there are so many things that can affect it. The last race was pretty ok, but obviously we had an issue. We have to do better, fix the current problems and try to avoid having any other. Hopefully we can have a good weekend.”
Seb speaks out ahead of Bahrain Grand Prix
The second Grand Prix weekend of the 2016 F1 season is just about to start at Bahrain International Circuit, and Sebastian Vettel draws a clear picture of the challenge ahead: “Here we will see the same Ferrari as we had in Melbourne, the same chassis. Last year we saw that Australia was not our strongest race. This year we are more competitive, we could say we are a bit closer, but then again we have different tyres, the weather is quite different, so it’s difficult to predict. We are working very hard.”
Much has been said and written about the qualifying format, which stays the same as at the previous GP. Seb gives his point of view in quite a unique way: “If you sell vanilla ice cream and everybody that comes to the shop asks for chocolate ice cream, the next day you open you are expected to sell chocolate ice cream, but instead you decide to sell vanilla ice cream again. So, I think that usually you do what your clients would like you to do, but you’re not really doing the job, I guess, if you do exactly the opposite.”
“We, the drivers, didn’t give any proposal [about qualifying]” Seb says. “We just made it clear that something is not right and that something has to change. We are drivers and we are not here to make the rules but I think for some decisions it would be beneficial to listen more to the drivers and to the fans. You have to do what’s the best for sport at the end. We just have to find the best system.”
Kimi Raikkonen and Diego Ioverno talk us through the challenges of the desert track
Maranello, March 29th – Ahead of the Bahrain Grand Prix, second round of the Formula One world championship, Scuderia Ferrari’s driver Kimi Raikkonen and Race Team Manager Diego Ioverno describe the main features of a track that’s quite unique. For Kimi, last year bring some bittersweet memories: “I enjoy Bahrain, obviously it’s good itself, not the most difficult corners but still hard to make a good lap there and obviously conditions can change a lot because of the wind, it’s hot at midday and cold enough in the evening, but it’s a good place. Maybe I could have won last year, but it’s pointless to start guessing things, we were second and that’s it. It was not too bad, but I guess it could have been better.”
Such a hard-braking circuit puts a premium on the brake-by-wire system: “In an ideal word when all works it’s fine although obviously sometimes you can have issues, but we have a good system so far- This circuit is quite hard for practice, so some cars might run into problems with their brakes, but it really depends how much you are willing to push on the brake cooling if you have issues or not.”
Now it’s Diego’s turn to give a technical outlook: “First time for Bahrain GP was in 2004. Since then the circuit has been a challenging environment for all the Formula1 team, including 15 corners and a long combination of straights, kinks and hairpins. The Bahrain circuit layout normally suits quite well to medium-to-low downforce car configuration. The circuit is very challenging also for Power Units and for brakes because of the heavy braking points. So, it is really important to look after the cooling of the car, as it is important also to give particular attention to the mechanical setup for the kerb driving”.
Sand and darkness also make this venue quite unique: “The circuit of Bahrain is in the middle of the desert. The sand in the past was a fact and we have been experiencing sessions heavily affected by the sand. More than this, in the last few years, Bahrain race was in night time, while free practice session were in the day. This has given another variable to the race weekend format, forcing teams to face cooling level changing during the whole weekend. So, this is another factor that makes the Bahrain race really challenging”.